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Using Damn Small Linux Software for PC Security

written by: Larry M. Lynch•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 5/22/2011

You can use Damn Small Linux software on a live CD or USB drive to help to protect yourself when traveling or using public access PCs. PC security is more necessary, and more difficult than ever before. Scams are everywhere, and the theft of personal data is rampant. Here's how to protect yourself.

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    Using Damn Small Linux Software for PC Security When Traveling

    If you travel frequently, especially in foreign countries, or use Internet cafes abroad with any regularity, you need to be highly cautious with system security and protect your PC and personal information for better PC security. Too many Internet café operators unscrupulously install privacy-invading key-stroke tracker or key-word recording software on public-access PCs. An unsuspecting client comes in to check e-mail, get deposit or money transfer info from their home bank ,or view personal financial or other critical data in a password-protected account. The Internet café PC software then tracks and records your security information such as passwords, security access codes, PIN numbers and other sensitive data, storing it in a hidden file on the hard drive or an embedded information storage device. It can even package your name, address, e-mail, cellular and telephone numbers, too.

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    Online Fraud is Rampant

    The customer may only spend 15 minutes to an hour in the E-café, but that’s more than enough for the “phishing” expedition to be successful. In the ensuing months, you are billed for anything from porn site access fees to purchases of contraband and “heaven-only-knows-what” else. You’ll then lose time, money, and sleep trying to rectify the mess, if indeed you even finally do. Your credit and financial status will be seriously compromised.

    So, don’t let this happen to you!

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    Why Using Damn Small Linux Software Works

    So, doesn’t the keystroke tracking software that might be installed on public-access PCs work even when using damn small Linux software? For the most part, “No”, here’s why not. Most keystroke tracking software used in “phishing” is activated through windows once the Internet Explorer browser is entered. The vast majority of the time that is the only web browser software available on the public access PCs and for good reason. Keystroke tracking software is attached via a batch file to Internet Explorer access because if you don't go online, you'll most probably only type a letter or do some other MS word document which they have no interest in. They don’t want your college course paper draft research notes on the “Intricacies of Elizabethan English Colloquial Speech When Compared to Common Usage of Black American English in Southern States Large City Ghettos During the 1960s” or whatever. Most people go to an e-cafe to check their e-mail, review bank account transactions or may place an order for an online product. During these types of online activity, the user needs to type in passwords, user IDs and countersigns - what the “phishers” are typically after. When you use damn small Linux as a live CD to bypass the startup software and the Internet Explorer web browser, you vault over the entire setup they may have put in place. Many e-cafe operations abroad are little more than "Mom-and-Pop" type operations which prey on the occasional or foreign visitor user rather than regular use locals.

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    Safeguarding Personal and Financial Information

    How can using damn small Linux software help to protect you? There are several ways to help safeguard your personal and financial information while traveling or when using public-access computers. One of the simplest and safest is to use a live damn small Linux software CD or a damn small Linux USB drive to bypass the PC operating system and its related software including keystroke registers and security or information-gathering software that might be insidiously installed. You can then access what you might need to online and when you’re finished, you simply disconnect your USB drive or eject your live CD and the PC you used is unchanged in any way without having accessed your “goings on”.

    "Sweet, huh?"

    You can beat the “unscrupulous phishers” at their own game.

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    Damn Small Linux Software

    Damn small Linux software or DSL is a free software PC operating system that falls under the GNU (copyleft) General Public licensing system. DSL usually functions as a 50 MB or less live CD. You can also operate the software from a USB drive, a portable memory card, a mini-CD, a standard zip drive or business card CD (i.e., bootable business card) DSL minimum system requirements include at least a 486 processor with a minimum of 8 MB of RAM, however, more than 16 MB of RAM is required if you want to run Linux-friendly Mozilla Firefox or add options like damn small Linux Open Office.

    Note: The minimal memory space requirement is because damn small Linux software does not run on the hard drive but is loaded into RAM. This can even be done from a floppy or USB drive. Damn small Linux software then runs from the floppy, a damn small Linux USB drive or a live damn small Linux CD ROM.

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    How to Use a Damn Small Linux Software Live CD

    The procedure is simple enough to use. You insert your damn small Linux software CD or damn small Linux USB drive, reboot the computer and the live disk or USB takes over. You are now using Linux and can surf, use word-processing or spread sheet software incorporated into the DSL package. Any software running on the PC’s regular operating system is completely by-passed, so you have no interference from it. A damn small Linux software live CD includes operational add-on package software such as damn small Linux Open Office, MSN applications and an additional list of more than 900 plug-ins and other types of extensions. You’ll be easily able to do virtually anything you need to from the host computer without jeopardizing any of your personal information.

    The system likewise can come in handy when the default language, keyboard setting and other default parameters are other than ones you wish to use. Keyboard in Cyrillic? No problem. Is the default language Arabic or Turkish? No problem either. Your damn small Linux software live CD or USB permits you to use “cheat codes” or "boot options" different from the PC default settings. You can also go to DSL Wiki for a list of possible boot options.

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    Damn Small Linux Project Support

    Damn Small Linux project developers sell several products to help provide active, on-going support. Two of the best of these products include:

    · A full-sized damn small Linux software CD ROM or a mini-CD of DSL

    · A fully bootable 4 GB USB pen drive which can also be booted from inside of Windows or another version 4 Gig 2.0 USB pen drive is also available online.

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    Where to download Damn Small Linux:

    You can go to a full current mirror listing of damn small Linux software download sites

    … or you can download a copy of damn small Linux from this quick partial download list:

    http://ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/damnsmall/

    http://gulus.USherbrooke.ca/pub/distro/DamnSmallLinux/ (Quebec, Canada)

    http://ftp.belnet.be/packages/damnsmalllinux/ (Belgium)

    http://ftp.heanet.ie/mirrors/damnsmalllinux.org/

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    Can’t Use Damn Small Linux Software? Go Somewhere Else!

    If you attempt to use a damn small Linux software live CD or USB at an internet café or a public computer access site and you are told that you cannot do it or that “it’s unsafe”, tell them that you are protecting your personal data. If they persist or simply disallow use of a live CD or USB drive, leave that establishment and go somewhere else. Don’t allow your personal and financial information to be compromised. Safeguard your security information such as passwords, security access codes, PIN numbers, bank records, financial accounts and other sensitive data by using damn small Linux software for personal security while traveling abroad with any regularity, especially in foreign countries where scams can be practically a way of life.